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This volume reproduces key historical texts concerning 'colonial knowledges'. The use of the adjective 'colonial' indicates that knowledge is shaped by power relationships, while the use of the plural form, 'knowledges' indicates the emphasis in this collection is on an interplay between different, often competing, cognitive systems. George Balandier's notion of the colonial situation is an organising principle that runs throughout the volume, and there are four sub-themes: language and texts, categorical knowledge, the circulation of knowledge and indigenous knowledge. The volume is designed to introduce students to a range of important interventions which speak to each other today, even if they were not intended to do so when first published. An introductory essay links the themes together and explains the significance of the individual articles.